EduTech is a new 9to5Mac weekly series that will focus on technology’s application in education, lower and higher level, both for productivity and enjoyment. If you have suggestions for topics or specific questions you’d like to see answered, feel free to let me know. Catch up on past installments here.
In this week’s installment of EduTech, we’re going to break down the best apps on iOS stay organized, keep track of assignments, and more. Some of these apps are specifically made with education in mind, while others were developed with a broader focus yet still offer benefits to educators and students alike.
This is arguably one of the best applications of technology in education. Keeping track of things like assignments, due dates, and tests used to be a tedious task that required the use of a physical planner to truly stay on top of things. With iOS, however, there are many apps that make it easy to stay on top of your work. Read on for my full list…
The Homework App
One of the most popular scheduling apps on iOS is simply called “The Homework App.” Available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, this app features a minimalistic design that offers support for your class schedule, homework schedule, and more.
On the main screen of the app, you see a broad overview of what you have going on, including the number of classes you have that day, the assignments you have due, your schedule, and more. From there, you can dive deeper into the specifics of what you have going on with sub details for assignments, color coding, and more.
The Homework App also offers a widget in Notification Center, as well as an Apple Watch app for on-the-go tracking. There’s also notification support to ensure you never forget a due date.
The Homework App is free on the App Store.
myHomework Student Planner
This app, while still simplistic, offers a few more customization options than The Homework App. On the home screen of the app is a basic overview of all of the homework you have due, while you can filter it by class, priority, and type.
One thing that sets myHomework apart is its support for classes that occur every other day, like in a college environment. While The Homework App does support this, you have to set up each day individually as opposed to telling the app the alternation schedule. myHomework, however, allows you to choose which days a class occurs rather than assuming it occurs every week day.
myHomework Student Planner offers iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch support. It’s available for free on the App Store.
Returning to the simplicity over features theme, Class Timetable is an incredibly simple app that allows you to keep track of classes and assignments. The home screen of this app is a simple list of your classes for that day, while a separate Tasks window shows your assignments and when they are do.
Class Timetable is color coded and supports a color coded week view when you rotate your device to landscape view.
While Class Timetable is free, there’s a “Pro” update available via in-app purchase for $0.99. With that upgrade, you get class notifications, timetable export, task reminders, and more.
Class Timetable is available on the App Store and supports iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
My Study Life
My personal favorite planning app is My Study Life. In my testing, I’ve found this one to be the most feature-rich apps available, while also offering a simplistic and easy to navigate design.
One of my favorite features is the “Tomorrow” preview at the bottom of the app’s home screen. This preview shows how many classes you have on the next day, the tasks you have due, and if you have any exams. My Study Life is also smart about handling exam and class interferences, alerting you of the conflict and allowing you to add revision tasks.
You can view your upcoming tasks and classes with month and week views, as well as detailed daily views with building numbers, times, and more.
My Study Life is available on the App Store for free, but there’s no iPad or Apple Watch app at this point.
While this app wasn’t developed with education specifically in mind, it’s still one of the best planning apps available. Available on both iOS and macOS, Fantastical is a beautiful calendar app with cross-platform syncing, Apple Watch support, and iMessage integration.
We’ve covered Fantastical extensively in the past and I continue to recommend it. You can import from other calendar services, sync between your various devices, and much more.
As for education-specific purposes, you can enter assignment due dates, exam dates, meetings, and more.
Fantastical 2 is available for $2.99 on iOS and $49.99 on macOS.
Another app that wasn’t developed with education specifically in mind, but yet still is one of the best apps for assignment tracking and remembering test dates. OmniFocus is task management app that allows you to enter in a task, assign a due date, and receive notification reminders to complete that task.
The app centers around being easy to use and allowing you to get things done as efficiently as possible. For each day, you’ll see a number that represents the number of tasks that you have due that day.
The app is also location-aware, meaning you can assign a location to specific task and be reminded of it when you approach that location.
OmniFocus is available for iOS, Apple Watch, and iPad on the App Store, while there’s also a macOS app.
Other to-do apps
To-do apps are a great way to remember tasks you have to complete. While OmniFocus is my personal favorite, there are a variety of other options, some of which are free, available on the App Store.
For education, to-do apps are relatively simple and work best for remembering assignments and exam dates rather than class meeting times. For many students, however, assignment and date tracking is the central need.
Below are some additional recommendations for to-do list applications:
Those are just some of the apps that make it incredibly easy to keep track of assignments, classes, tests, and more. Everyone has their own methodology for tracking such dates and it’s really up to you to find the best app that fits your needs.
If you have any additional recommendations for organizing your school work and schedule, let us know down in the comments.
Check out previous installments of EduTech:
Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip
Whether you’re a sophomore in high school or a senior in college, your life is full of attending classes, working on homework, extracurricular activities, hanging out with friends, and squeezing in family time when you can. We all have so much going on and it can sometimes be hard to keep track of where you’re supposed to be and when.
Confession: I am a planner and organization junkie. I carry my LifePlanner with me everywhere, along with a bag of pens–for color coding. I also keep an electronic version, thanks to Google Calendar, and it’s so full it looks like confetti exploded on my phone/laptop screen. I’m telling you this because I understand how important finding the right planner is. Hours of research went into my first big planner purchase, and my guess is (if you’re reading this post) you’re a bit like me.
So, without further ado, here’s my list of the 7 best planners for students:
LifePlanner by Erin Condren
Price: $45-$65 + add-ons
The LifePlanner was my first mega planner purchase and I love it. If everything in your life is organized by color, this is the planner for you. In addition to interchangeable, customizable covers, you can also add on stickers of all shapes and sizes. Mine also came with a sample pack of stickers and a movable ruler/bookmark. You can also find stickers on Etsy that are the same size and shape of the boxes in the LifePlanner.
It comes in three different layouts: horizontal, vertical, and hourly. Each weekly page also has space for a to-do list, which always comes in handy.
Student Planner by Plum Paper
Price: $18 + add-ons
Plum Paper’s Student Planner would be excellent for any high school student or college student with a heavy course load. Each week is organized by day and class period (7 spaces available).
The nice thing about this planner is you can customize it to start at any month during the year. So, if you’re not satisfied with a previous planner purchase or you procrastinated and don’t want to spend money on missed months, go with this planner. It comes in 6 months or 12-18 months. So, you can also give it a 6 month trial run if you’re still not sold.
Academic Daily Simplified Planner by Emily Ley
Price: $58 + add-ons
Emily Ley’s Academic Daily Simplified Planner is full of inspiration quotes and gold detailing. (And we all need a little inspiration to keep going sometimes!) These planners are made for academic schedules (i.e., they run August-July). In addition to 6am-9pm hourly spots, there are also spaces for notes, daily to-dos, and dinner plans.
The design of these planners are classy-chic. One of my college friends swears by this planner. She just purchased her second one and doesn’t plan on changing it up any time soon.
Flagship Collection by Day Designer
Price: $59 + add-ons
If you’re all business and don’t feel the need to decorate every square inch of your planner, the Flagship Collection is for you. These daily pages run from 5am-9pm. Each day has a space for to-dos, gratitude, your top 3 to-dos, notes, and more. The Flagship collection is available in beginning and mid-year editions, each running 12 months.
If you’re feeling the need for a bit more organization in your life, there are also a plethora of free printables available. These include bucket lists, notes, organizing your week, gratitude journals, food and exercise logs, and much more.
Academic Daily Planner by Bloom Daily Planners
Price: $13.95-$26.95 + add-ons
The Academic Daily Planner comes in hard or soft cover, and a choice between a normal academic planner or a vision planner. The vision planner is organized to help you set and work towards your goals. The academic year planner also has spaces for your goals, to-dos, and a fun list of reasons for a party.
It also has an awesome academic scheduler placed in the beginning pages. There are places for time, class, professor name, and room, all by day of the week and term.
The Happy Planner-Student Edition by Me & My Big Ideas
Price: $19.99-$29.99 + add-ons
The Happy Planner is the creative student’s dream planner. You literally make it all you want it to be, and can add or remove pages at any time. It’s basically a scrapbook that functions as a planner.
One of my favorite things about this planner is you can actually go to a store and check it out. It’s also 100% customizable. You can add pages, bookmarks, inspirational quotes on tabs, and even clip in pictures. If you want to check it out in person, head to your local Hobby Lobby store.
Academic Planners by Mead
During my first few years of college I relied on my Mead planners to keep my life organized. I started with the small, 4″ x 6″ size, and ended up with the giant 8.5″ x 11″. These are great planners because you can choose daily, weekly, or monthly layouts. They’re also extremely affordable.
Yes, these planners are a bit more subtle than some of the others listed above. However, if you’re feeling the need to spice it up a bit, you essentially have a blank slate that you can make entirely your own. Head to a craft store, buy some stickers and fun pens, and spend an afternoon decorating your new best friend.
Planners are as unique as the people who use them. Each one is loved and used in its own way. If you have a favorite that isn’t on this list, share it in the comments below!
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite planner accessories:
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